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Reservation Required

by Rob Littler

I have seen many dogs moving in packs
Through the side ditches and fields, wanting
To be wolves, demanding my eye in their ferocity,
Yet whimpering for touch like a coyote pup.

There are no games to be played with reservation dogs.

Mornings when the sun rises red and magnificent
Over the green dewy grass, and the sky explodes
In variations of indigo, I know the dogs are there too, huddled
For warmth. Each sunrise, crane and raven fly silently through
The thick air, their passing is a watercolor brush, leaving

A trail in the atmosphere my eyes have only just begun to see.

But the dogs have a knowing amongst themselves. I have
Heard them talking about how to judge a human
By looking at their face, and hearing what is in their heart
With their eyes. I wonder what they think when I look
Away. They are not surprised I pretend not to see them.
Once a brave dog nudged my leg and trotted beside me
Trying to capture my smile, but I held my ground. Waiting.

Then he disappeared.

But today, as I drove my car onto the highway, I saw a group
Of young children zigzagging through the massive cottonwoods
That line the road, two boys and a girl, running and laughing and
Smiling. I paused just long enough for the lead boy to look into me.
And as I waved and pulled onto the asphalt, I heard a growl
Through my open window. In my side mirror, I saw him dart
Into the road beside me, chasing me, as I slowly moved farther

Away.

09/06/2017

Posted on 09/06/2017
Copyright © 2017 Rob Littler

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 09/06/17 at 11:02 PM

Great story telling here. Reminds me of Louise Erdrich's way with the mystical within the native american world as it blends human with animal. "Each sunrise, crane and raven fly silently through The thick air, their passing is a watercolor brush, leaving A trail in the atmosphere my eyes have only just begun to see." These lines are very special. Thank you.

Posted by Linda Fuller on 09/14/17 at 02:52 AM

It is always a pleasure to read you.

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